World Series Preview: Q&A With Detroit Jock City


Oct 23, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) and first baseman Prince Fielder (28) throw a medicine ball together during practice the day before game one of the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants at AT

What are the odds that both the Giants and A’s face the dominant Detroit Tigers in the playoffs? The only good thing about that is we get to do yet another Q&A session with Josh Lobdell, editor of Detroit Jock City, the Detroit local site at Fansided.

So without further adieu, here are five questions that we asked Josh regarding the Detroit Tigers and this upcoming World Series:

Q: How will the Tigers respond after having multiple days of rest?

A: I think a lesson was learned in 2006 (when Detroit lost in the World Series), and manager Jim Leyland had a plan for this scenario. The Tigers flew in their instructional league team and have been playing against them to stay sharp. Also, I think the Tigers entire organization wants to get this win for the aging and obviously not in good health owner Mike Illitch.

2. Outside of Verlander, who’s the best pitcher on the Tigers’ staff?

That is a tough one. Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez have all been very good this postseason and nothing less than dominant against the New York Yankees. For my money, I like Fister – when he is on, he is nearly unhittable, but Mad Max Scherzer sure rings up a lot of K’s.

3. Do you expect Phil Coke to continue to close games instead of Valverde?

Yes. I don’t see anyway in which the Tigers can trust Valverde with the closer’s role again. I would find it very surprising to see him throw another pitch for this organization. Coke as closer, with Joaquin Benoit as the set up guy and youngster Drew Smyly as a long reliever if needed.

4. Will the Tigers’ stellar starting pitching continue (They had a 0.67 ERA in the ALCS)?

It’s going to have to if the Tigers want to win. The offense is still struggling to score runs (beyond the 8 runs the scored in the final victory of the ALCS). Let us not forget the Oakland A’s shut them out in the ALDS and they only scored 19 runs overall in the ALCS. Starting pitching is this team’s bread and butter.

5. Who is an X-Factor in the Tigers’ lineup?

Got to go with ALCS MVP Delmon Young. He has gotten hot at exactly the right time, but beyond him the guy I look to is shortstop Jhonny Peralta. He hit .389 in the ALCS and had 7 hits, 2 home runs, and 3 RBI. The Tigers lineup needs a guy like that later in the batting order to spark the offense.